Welcome to the party, Blockchain Association

New trade association gives cryptocurrency industry a voice in DC

Today it was announced that several companies in the crypto industry (many among Coin Center’s supporters) have formed a trade association—the Blockchain Association—to advocate on behalf of the industry. We welcome this news and look forward to working alongside them here in Washington, D.C.

We’re happy to see this development for a few reasons. First, more voices—and more resources—aimed at educating policymakers about open blockchain technology, and how it intersects with the law, is always a good thing. Second, there are certain issues that only industry can address. For example, developing industry best practices that members can agree to abide is the kind of thing that an industry group can do—and it is needed. Finally, it helps clarify the distinction between industry interests, on the one hand, and Coin Center’s digital rights advocacy mission, on the other.

As you know, Coin Center exists to protect your right to build and use cryptocurrency and open blockchain networks. We’re an independent digital rights advocacy organization, not an industry body. Having a trade association and an independent advocacy group working in the same space is not unique. (Think of the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Internet Association.) While positions will often align, an independent voice that’s not shy of taking the other side of industry when it’s in the best interest of individual rights is not just healthy, it’s essential.

That said, we share with the Blockchain Association a vision of a regulatory climate that welcomes permissionless blockchain networks and privacy preserving cryptocurrency. So, welcome to our friends at the Blockchain Association! We’re glad you’re here and we can’t wait to work with you.